Habits of Mind is about knowing how to behave intelligently and respond effectively to uncertainty or dilemmas. It provides children of all ages a framework for autonomous learning, critical thinking and effective inquiry. The framework was developed by Dr Arthur Costa, Emeritus Professor of Education at California State University, Sacramento, and Co-Director of the Institute for Intelligent Behavior in El Dorado Hills, California.
The Habits of Mind framework has been adopted by Singapore’s Ministry of Education to groom the top 1% and the brightest students in Singapore under its Gifted Education Programme. Mulberry Learning is proud to be the first and only preschool in to adopt Habits of Mind for preschoolers in Singapore and the region.
- Thinking and Communicating with Clarity and Precision
- Managing Impulsivity
- Gathering Data Through All Senses
- Listening With Understanding and Empathy
- Creating, Imagining, Innovating
- Thinking Flexibly
- Responding with Wonderment and Awe
- Thinking About Thinking (Metacognition)
- Taking Responsible Risks
- Striving For Accuracy
- Finding Humor
- Questioning and Posing Problems
- Thinking Interdependently
- Applying Past Knowledge to New Situations
- Remaining Open to Continuous Learning
Young children can benefit from Habits of Mind, as we find that children will be able to better focus on the task at hand or manage distractions. They will also be more confident when confronted with difficulties, and ask good questions that allow them to go about solving problems. They also become skilled at socializing and end up working with different people. Eventually, they grow into independent learners who are well prepared for their future in a Volatile, Uncertain, Complex and Ambiguous (V.U.C.A) 21st century world.
Mulberry is the first preschool network in the world to be certified by The Institute for Habits of Mind, and there is deep integration of Habits of Mind into our daily curriculum. We do so in the following ways:
A new habit is introduced every month during lesson periods set aside to formally introduce the habit to the child. During these lessons, the child will explore the meaning of the habit and learn how to behave or react in accordance to the habit.
Habits are best learned when reinforced repeatedly. We do so by constantly revisiting the habit throughout the term during lessons, playtime, and even during wash-up or meal time.
Parents are given updates on their child’s progress in Habits of Mind, alongside regular developmental updates. Special parenting workshops are also conducted from time to time to equip parents with activites and knowledge that can help reinforce these habits at home.
We meticulously prepare the environment for successful planting of the Habits of Mind seeds. We have posters as reminders, celebrations to encourage behaviours that are in line with Habits of Mind, and teachers who are themselves role models for children to emulate.